10 posts tagged with security and science.
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If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

The Avian Flu: Transparency vs. Public Safety

"Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets." After an extensive, months-long debate, one of two controversial papers showing ways the H5N1 "avian" influenza virus could potentially become transmissible in mammals with only 3 or 4 mutations was published in Nature today. The journal included an editorial on the merits and drawbacks of "publishing risky research" with regard to biosafety. The debate included an unprecedented recommendation by The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication -- a decision they later reversed. (Via: 1, 2) Nature's special report has additional articles, including interviews with the teams behind both papers.
posted by zarq on May 3, 2012 - 37 comments

A leaking woodpecker

Security researchers at North Carolina State University led by Xuxian Jiang (who had previously discovered 12 malicious Android applications sold through Google's Android Market) have uncovered holes in how the permissions-based security model is enforced on numerous Android devices. Called "leaks", these vulnerabilities allow new and existing malicious applications to eavesdrop on calls, track the user's location, install applications, send SMS messages, delete data from the device, and more. (via)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 5, 2011 - 30 comments

and battery

The assault on Los Alamos National Laboratory: A drama in three acts
posted by fantabulous timewaster on Nov 10, 2011 - 30 comments

ClimateGate?

The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit suffered a security breach this week. Hackers made off with thousands of email correspondences between some of the world's top climate scientists, and posted them to the Internet1.

Tony Hake has posted an article at The Examiner, highlighting what he feels are the most egregious examples of scientists manipulating and hiding data to support the established theories about Climate Change. Some of the scientists involved counter that the quotes are taken out of context, and that "People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way".

1 I'm not going to link to them, but the Examiner article mentions where to get them.
posted by Who_Am_I on Nov 20, 2009 - 146 comments

Neurosecurity

Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices. "An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define 'neurosecurity'—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices." [Via Mind Hacks]
posted by homunculus on Jul 8, 2009 - 22 comments

"Leaving no trace [of our daily lives] is nearly impossible."

The Anonymity Experiment. Is it possible to hide in plain sight? Privacy-minded people have long warned of a world in which an individual’s every action leaves a trace, in which corporations and governments can peer at will into your life with a few keystrokes on a computer. Now one of the people in charge of information-gathering for the U.S. government says, essentially, that such a world has arrived.
posted by amyms on Feb 16, 2008 - 44 comments

Comments on Bomb Crap

Advanced methods of bomb detection and investigation. New equipment developed to scan cars and people, such as a parking lot device which quickly bathes the car's trunk in invisible neutrons, a procedure that makes materials inside the trunk emit gamma-rays that would indicate the presence of explosives. Also, a bomb disposal robot which take[s] fingerprints before blowing [a] package up.
posted by mcgraw on May 3, 2004 - 17 comments

It's Justice Time!

Know what time it is, Kidz? It's U.S. Department of Justice Time!

On today's show, we'll learn why Hacking is REAL BAD, and give you a chance to find out if you are a good cybercitizen. Next, we'll meet Axel, the talking drug dog, and his friends the Bomb Dog Bunch! Then, we'll check in on the ATF, for some cool science fair ideas.

And finally, just for you kids with crooks or international terrorists for parents, here's a nifty PDF coloring book (Native American version also available).
posted by eatitlive on Feb 25, 2003 - 11 comments

U.S. Tightening Rules on Keeping Scientific Secrets [NYTimes free subscription required]

U.S. Tightening Rules on Keeping Scientific Secrets [NYTimes free subscription required] "One White House proposal is to eliminate the sections of articles that give experimental details researchers from other laboratories would need to replicate the claimed results, helping to prove their validity " It's a new monkey to keep See, Hear, and Speak no evil company: Publish no scientifically replicable evil.
posted by srboisvert on Feb 17, 2002 - 7 comments

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